Skip to main content

Submission Deadline is
Monday, February 8, 2016

(12:00 noon, Eastern Standard Time)

Please note - The deadline has been moved from February 6 to February 8th.

The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) Academic Merit, Art Merit and Community Service Awards recognize the exceptional accomplishments of graduating Foreign Service high school seniors.

Award Information:

Academic Merit
Approximately twelve $2,500 top prizes and two $1,000 honorable mention prizes are bestowed in May of each year. Additionally, from the pool of Academic Merit applicants, judges will select a single applicant for the Best Essay Award ($500 prize).

Judges will review applicants based on information provided in the following areas: cumulative grade point average, standardized test scores, an essay, extra-curricular activities, rigor of course work, and a letter of recommendation.

Art Merit Awards
AFSA Art Merit applicants apply in one of the following categories: Creative Writing, Performing Arts, Musical Arts, or Visual Arts. One award of $2,500 and up to three $1,000 Honorable Mention awards are bestowed across all categories in May.

Community Service Award

Originally part of the Academic Merit Program, this award is now open to any student applying for an AFSA Academic and/or Art Merit Award. The $2,500 award will be bestowed upon a student with the most distinguished contributions to the community through service and volunteerism.

Eligibility Requirements

Students must be claimed as a dependent on the most recent IRS tax form by a U.S. government Foreign Service employee (active, retired with pension, deceased or separated) with a foreign affairs agency as defined by the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (Department of State, USAID, IBB, FCS, FAS, USIA or APHIS) and . Children of the AFSA Scholarship Committee members are ineligible for AFSA awards or scholarships.

Additional Requirements

  • At least one parent is a member of AFSA.
  • Be a graduating high school senior (or in one's last year of high school).
  • Academic Merit Award applicants must have a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA out of a 4.0 scale.
  • Art Merit Award applicants must have a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
To apply
All applicants will need to create a new account. Once registered, follow the steps detailed on the "applicant's" homepage.

Some required documents (such as transcripts, standardized tests and letters of recommendation) may take one to two weeks for delivery.  AFSA will not accept any late application pieces and will not submit to the judges any incomplete application. It is the applicant's responsibility to see that all documents are delivered  and application tasks are completed by the deadline.

For information on the application review process, click here.